Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Commercial Flax Oil

Commercial flax oil has become quite popular among health enthusiasts. But unlike cold press flax oil, the overall production practices, from farming of its raw material flax, to the subsequent extraction of the seeds’ edible oil, and even to the packaging methods used, all contribute to commercial flax oil’s unhealthy profile.

Read further and discover more about the negative effects of commercial flax oil and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

Commercial Flax Oil Risks:

As was mentioned, this edible oil is extracted from the seeds of the flax plant. Flax cultivation significantly declined in the nineteenth century. Though this is the case, flax was in the 1980s the subject of a genetic modification project to create a seed stock that is resistant to herbicide. It is crucial to note that though this GM flax was subsequently approved in Canada and the United States in the 1990s, cultivation was not pursued in both countries due to Europe’s refusal to buy products made from GM flax on the grounds of health and safety. Since then, this GM flax project was abandoned and it was believed that remaining stocks of GM flax were all destroyed.

Fast-forward to 2009 when GM-contaminated flax turned up in Germany in 2009, and since then said illegal genetically modified organism was found in flax-based products in thirty other countries. It is for this reason scrutinizing the source of your flax oil is crucial, and go only for brands made from certified organic flaxseed.

Flax is one of the most heavily sprayed agricultural crop as well as this plant is not as resistant to and therefore gets easily damaged by weeds. Currently, at least three types of petrochemicals are used for control weed in flax plantations, namely glyphosates, organochlorine pesticides, and nitrile herbicides like bromoxynil, which all pose adverse effects to health. Exposure to organochlorine pesticides, for instance, has been linked to vitamin D deficiency, and obesity and insulin resistance in non-diabetics.

Bromoxynil, meanwhile, has been banned for use on cotton by the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) since 1997 but to this day is still being used for flax cultivation. Bromoxynil causes fetal abnormalities and subsequent death to animals. Humans, meanwhile, have a higher risk of developing liver cancer when exposed to even minute amounts of this nitrile herbicide. Most commercial flax oil come from conventionally farmed flax, which is why opting for organic counterparts of this edible oil is prudent to minimize your risk of pesticide exposure.

Commercial flax oil is typically manufactured with the use of high-speed pressers as well. These machines, though they facilitate efficient extraction of the oil from the flaxseeds, generate heat, which subsequently brings about oxidation that severely compromises the quality of the edible oil. Most commercial flax oil undergo the process of hydrogenation as well so as to minimize rancidity and extend the product’s shelf life. Hydrogenation utilizes extremely high temperatures as well as catalysts like palladium, and sometimes even aluminum, too. Hydrogenated oils are structurally only an atom away from being a plastic. Hydrogenated oils are practically all trans fats, too, which have been identified as responsible for causing hardening of the arteries, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, as well as cancer.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of soy ice cream and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the dietary sources of fats on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:

Eat:

Moderate:

Avoid:

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